By SUBURBAN LIFE MEDIA comp:000052d90d4b:000000104a:0df3 /__uuid/52ce21ec-6cbf-4ef4-999d-cbb34d439c28/mlk-crop.jpg
Young participants attend last year's Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration in Carol Stream. (Photo provided)

In honor of the civil rights leader's enduring legacy, Outreach Community Center in Carol Stream partners with the Wheaton Christian Center, Our Savior Lutheran Church and the village of Carol Stream for the 14th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration. Taking place at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, the event will present featured speaker Ray McElroy, a former NFL player and the Chicago Bears’ team chaplain.

The evening also will include inspirational youth performances by students of Outreach Community Center and the Wheaton College Gospel Choir. Guests will be able to connect with nonprofit organizations including the YWCA and People’s Resource Center before and after the event.

A collection will be taken in support of Outreach’s annual Spring Break College Tour for high school students participating in the Community Center’s college preparation program, known as Student Achievement Leadership Team. SALT is designed for high school students interested in setting and achieving goals, one of which may be pursuing higher education. SALT meets weekly for academic tutoring, ACT prep, and life skills activities and discussion. A highlight of the SALT program, the College Tour exposes students to out-of-state schools, encouraging them to seriously pursue their college goals.

The Martin Luther King event is set in Wheaton Christian Center, off Schmale Road and North Avenue (610 E. North Ave.) All are invited to attend, free of charge.

About Ray McElroy
McElroy is a native of Chicago, Proviso West alum and graduate from Eastern Illinois University. While at EIU, McElroy was a four-year starter at cornerback for the Panthers; a three-time first team All Gateway Conference player (1992-94); Associated Press Third Team All-American (1994); and was selected for The Kelly Tires Blue Gray All-Star Classic. In 1995, the safety/cornerback was selected as the fourth-round draft pick by the Indianapolis Colts, where he played for four years. He then went on to play for the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions.

He has a bachelor's degree in economics, and is a licensed minister. McElroy is devoting his post-football career to encouraging youth, young adults and families through A Ray of Hope on Earth, a nonprofit organization focused on empowering youth, changing lives and making a difference for young men across America. He and his wife, Michelle, are the parents of four children.

About Outreach
The Outreach Community Center in Carol Stream provides youth development services and family stabilization services for individuals and families in vulnerable situations who are residents in southeast Carol Stream. The center is at 345 S. President St.

Outreach Community Ministries is a comprehensive, multifaceted Christian community service organization with several family resource centers located throughout central DuPage County. OCM exists to help people from the community and members from partner churches extend compassion and support to those in need.